Today's the day! We're kicking off the month of August with a very special promotion! If you've been thinking about trying some performance compression socks, or wanting to add to your growing collection (wink, wink...you know who you are!), now is the perfect time to pick up a pair or two! For the entire month of August, all in-stock performance grade (15-22mmHg) Achi brand compression socks and the new 15-20mmHg Sigvaris compression leggings are 20% off! This hardly ever happens so come on in to Rebirth Wellness Centre and show your legs some love!
Woo Hoo! Who’s watching Wimbledon with me?! I have to say, I LOVE this time of the year! The start of Wimbledon has always marked the official start of the summer for me and I love the tradition and the excitement it brings every year!
Now, imagine the thrill I had when I switched on the television to catch some first round coverage the other day and heard all the talk about Serena Williams’ compression tights! Oh my! Worlds are colliding!
If you follow tennis at all, and even if you don’t, you very likely know who Serena Williams is. What you may not know is that she has a condition that makes her susceptible to blood clots and she has suffered from several life threatening episodes in the past. The most recent occurrence happened following the birth of her daughter in September 2017 and since her return to tennis competition this year she has been wearing compression tights (and custom catsuits!) to help her minimize her risk for recurrence...and I imagine that their performance benefits are just icing on the cake!
**A little background info: While rare, (1 to 2 women in every 1,000), pregnant women are at higher risk than non-pregnant women at developing blood clots during and after their pregnancy. If you have a history of blood clots, like Serena Williams, you are at even higher risk and medical management during your pregnancy will likely be necessary. Women typically are at their highest risk in the first three months of pregnancy and again, in their first 6 weeks postpartum. Please discuss this with your healthcare provider if you have a history of blood clots or any questions or concerns about them. Graduated compression stockings are one way to help reduce the risk of blood clots, deep vein thrombosus (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (whether related to pregnancy, travel, surgery or a physiological predisposition).**
I will admit that Serena Williams’ hasn’t always been my favourite tennis player to follow, but she is the greatest female player we have ever seen and she has accomplished many very impressive feats. Not the least of which has been her journey postpartum: having a birth that didn’t go as planned, dealing with life-threatening medical complications, struggling to breastfeed her baby and then trying to return to the highest level of competition as a mother having to adapt to all the physical changes and challenges that that entails. Hearing her story and recognizing the common theme that I hear from women every day in my practice at Rebirth Wellness Centre, has allowed me to see her and relate to her in an entirely new way. I guess I'll be adding her to my list of players to root for after all...and not just because she's wearing her compression tights!
For all the mamas out there navigating the transition and trying to find some balance, thank you for sharing your stories and for supporting each other!
With the weather starting to get a little cooler now we can finally start wearing some of our fall wardrobe and that means it's officially sock season! I have been anticipating the release of the newest styles from Lunatik Athletiks and was very excited to receive my latest package from them this week. There are some great new styles in both the performance level of compression and the medical grade and also some returning favourites are back in stock! (Hooray - we have all sizes of the ever popular Urbane Stripe again!) Come by and check them out - or send me a message to ask me about compression socks if you'd like to learn more.
Wrapping up a great week away with my family in Huntsville, Ontario. We swam, paddled, fished, boated, golfed, rock climbed, played at the beach, visited with friends and roasted marshmallows. All in all, a terrific summer getaway…except for the unfortunate bout of gastroenteritis we came down with near the end of our week.
At first, when my husband and I both woke up with the same queasy feeling at 1am, we figured it had been something we had eaten at dinner. We managed through the night – although it wasn’t pretty or pleasant with only one bathroom and us running to and fro in between waves of nausea. Our only solace was that our 6-year-old son, was sleeping peacefully and seemingly unaffected and completely unaware of what his parents were dealing with thankfully. (His turn would unfortunately/fortunately come a few days later once we returned home, poor guy.)
Still feeling exhausted and lousy in the morning and really dreading the four-hour drive home, somehow we managed to pack up the car with a lot of help from our son and started on our way. My husband and I agreed we would take turns to relieve the driver and stop as we needed – which we weren’t really sure how often we would need to do given the circumstances!
On long car rides, I often sit in the back seat with my son to keep him company and help pass snacks etc and sometimes this makes me feel a little car sick. The feeling usually passes fairly quickly with a little manual pressure over the P6 acupuncture point (more on this later). Luckily, for this trip I had actually tossed my anti-nausea wristbands in my purse anticipating motion sickness and being stuck on the lovely highway 400. I hadn’t had to use my wristbands on the way up, but I certainly was happy to have them for the drive home. We needed anything and everything we could think of to help us power through. I wore my wristbands the whole way, and amazingly we only stopped once for a regular bathroom break (nothing crazy thankfully!) and to grab something to eat for our son. I really think my wristbands helped me through a rather tricky situation!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with these wonderful wristbands, here’s a little more info on them and how they work. I first began using them while I was pregnant to help alleviate my morning sickness (which if you’ve ever been pregnant, you know can actually happen at any point during the day, or even last the entire day). They were extremely helpful to me through my pregnancy but since that time have sat rather untouched in my bedside table. Manual stimulation of the same acupressure points has been effective for the mild motion sickness I get from time to time in the car, but for anything more persistent or longer lasting, the wrist bands would definitely be the way to go.
Here’s how to locate the points and stimulate them yourselves:
Looking at the palmar side of the hand, the P6 acupuncture point (aka Nei Guan) is located in the middle of your lower forearm, three fingerbreadths from your anterior wrist crease (see image below) and traditionally, this point has been used to alleviate many different symptoms, but most commonly those of nausea and vomiting.
(Source: Anesthesiology 2005;102:1046)
There’s a plethora of research on various patient populations (including chemotherapy patients, individuals recovering post-operatively, pregnant patients and those suffering from motion sickness) and how stimulation of the P6 point either by needle (acupuncture) or by hand/wristband (acupressure) can be very effective at alleviating nausea and vomiting and I can tell you from my personal experiences, it has been quite a lifesaver!
Acupressure at P6 is a safe and easy option you can do yourself, have someone perform for you, or by way of the wristbands, that can make a big difference if you’re feeling a little (or a lot!) queasy. I bought my anti-nausea wristbands from my local pharmacy. There are many brands out there but all seem to have the same design and range in price from $10-15. Some come with a special case or bag to hold the wristbands, mine did not and after seven years, they are still in good shape…and most importantly, they still work!
This blog post is not sponsored. The content of this post or anything included on hollybeckley.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Ezzo, Jeanette, Konrad Streitberger, and Antonius Schneider. "Cochrane systematic reviews examine P6 acupuncture-point stimulation for nausea and vomiting." Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 12.5 (2006): 489-495.
Hu, Senqi, et al. "P6 acupressure reduces symptoms of vection-induced motion sickness." Aviation, space, and environmental medicine 66.7 (1995): 631-634.
Lee, Anna, and L. T. Fan. "Stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting." Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2 (2009).
Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Birth March 2002; 29(1):1-9
Smith C, Crowther C, Beilby J. Pregnancy outcome following women’s participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2002 June;10(2):78-83
Steele NM, French J, Gatherer-Boyles J, Newman S, Leclaire S. Effect of acupressure by Sea-Bands on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing 2001 Jan-Feb;30(1):61-70
Stern RM, Jokerst MD, Muth ER, Hollis C, Acupressure relieves the symptoms of motion sickness and reduces abnormal gastric activity. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 2001 July-Aug;7(4):91-4
Werntoft E, Dykes AK. Effect of acupressure on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. A randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study. Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2001 Sep;46(9):835-9
Over the past year, you’ve likely heard a lot about the negative health effects of prolonged sitting. Research has shown that sitting is the single greatest risk factor for diabetes and death from heart disease or cancer and thus has been equated to smoking, something we have long accepted as one of the worst villains in the world of risk factors for our health. Comparing sitting to smoking may seem harsh, but it shows us the severity our lifestyle choices may have on our health and sounds an alarm that something needs to change.
Why is sitting so bad for us? It places uneven pressure on the spine leading to wear and tear on the discs, joints, ligaments and excess strain on the muscles increasing your risk of injury. Prolonged sitting, particularly in a slouched position, also reduces the space available for your lungs to expand and therefore leads to less oxygen circulating in your blood. Sitting compresses and pressurizes the muscles, nerves, arteries and veins which impairs their function, reducing blood and nerve flow, and leads to symptoms of numbness, swelling and pain. It reduces our body’s ability to burn fat, reduces blood flow and oxygen to the brain and affects our ability to function and concentrate. Long periods of sitting have been linked to kidney and liver problems, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Now, consider what this means if you are pregnant. We can assume, given how the internal organs must shift out of the way and are compressed as the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby, that the additional strain of sitting, particularly in a slouched position, will only exacerbate things. For example, our lung capacity is already reduced when pregnant, as any pregnant women who must climb a flight of stairs can attest to, so our oxygen levels may be even further compromised when we sit for long periods of time.
We all know the dangers of smoking while pregnant…what about the dangers of sitting?
Sitting for Two
There hasn’t been a lot of research done yet on the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting on pregnant women. But what we do know is that prolonged sitting during pregnancy can be a real challenge. On top of the added strain to your joints, muscles and ligaments in your lower back and pelvis causing pain, it is also related to less than ideal fetal positioning and may contribute to mothers experiencing “back labour” and other difficulties during childbirth. Studies have also shown that prolonged sitting during pregnancy may be related to an increase risk in blood clots. Add that to the negative effects mentioned above and you may wonder, “How on earth am I going to get through the next 40 weeks without sitting down?”
Now, I’m not saying you can’t sit when your pregnant, you definitely can and should, as prolonged standing during pregnancy comes with its own negative health effects. As with many things in life, it is all about balance and moderation.
The Sitting Solution
If you are pregnant and your day to day routine requires prolonged sitting, here are my tips for how to do so in the smartest and best way you can so you can minimize the negative impact it may have and hopefully avoid a lot of discomfort.
1. Use the best chair you can find…or no chair at all
If you are sitting at a desk for the majority of your day, use a good quality, adjustable desk chair that you can adjust to suit you throughout your pregnancy as your body changes. Make use of the lumbar support and if it doesn’t match up with your body and you can’t modify it, use a folded towel, blanket or small pillow to help support your lower back. Try sitting forward on your “sitting bones” and avoid slouching. Your back should never look like a C! If you do not have access to a good quality desk chair, consider using an exercise ball for some of your work day. It forces you to use your core muscles (yes, you still have them!) and keeps your pelvis in a better position while sitting. It may be a challenge to use the ball the entire day, so switching between a chair and the ball might be helpful.
2. 'Manspreading’, or as I prefer to say, ‘Sitting for Two’
I am not a fan of the term “manspreading” and can hardly believe I am using it here, but it seems to get the message across! When pregnant, it is important to sit with your knees wider and lower than your hips. Remember this when you are at work and at home as the cozy recliner or slouchy couch may not be the greatest choice for you. And please, no crossing of the legs!
3. Get Up and Move – make the most of the bathroom break
Getting up from your chair/ball every 30 minutes and moving around for a few minutes is a great way to break up the strain on your body and give yourself a rest from sitting. If you have to set an alert on your phone or computer to remind you, then do so. If you can walk around and/or do some of your work tasks standing that’s a great way to be productive while also helping your body. Try doing this simple exercise to help mobilize your lower back and pelvis:
Figure 8 or Hulahoop Exercise:
4. Get Down
Each day, spend a little time on your hands and knees and squatting. Both positions help counter the effects of prolonged sitting and help encourage better fetal positioning and mobility of your sacrum (these are extremely important for your comfort during pregnancy as well as during childbirth).
5. Regular visits to your friendly, neighbourhood pregnancy Chiropractor
Okay, so I’m a little biased here, but there is research on my side to back it up that chiropractic during pregnancy is safe, gentle and effective in resolving pain in the lower back and pelvis, helping to achieve optimal fetal positioning, and that mothers who receive regular chiropractic care have shorter, less painful and less complicated deliveries. Chiropractic care can minimize the consequences of prolonged sitting during pregnancy, help you feel more comfortable and help prepare your body for childbirth.
Prolonged anything can lead to issues and this is true whether you’re pregnant or not. If you’re having any trouble at all throughout your pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to connect with a Chiropractor experienced in providing prenatal care. Lower back and pelvic pain is extremely common during pregnancy but is not normal and you do not need to live with it.
Dr. Holly Beckley is a Chiropractor and Acupuncture provider at ReBirth Wellness Centre in London, Ontario, Canada. For more information on Dr. Holly and her practice please visit www.rebirthwellness.ca and www.hollybeckley.com
I recently attended a lecture given by Dr. Jenna Davis, a chiropractor who focuses on fertility, pre and postnatal care, pediatrics and family wellness. She spoke about how chiropractic care can help boost fertility, how to improve your chances of conceiving naturally and/or using assisted reproductive technology, and how chiropractors can help patients optimize their health and mental well being so that they give themselves the best chance possible at conceiving.
I was intrigued by this topic for several reasons. First, I am in that phase of life where many of my friends are starting or growing their families and I know how difficult it can be for many families to conceive and also have seen many friends have to cope with the loss of a pregnancy.
Did you know that in Canada, 1 in 6 couples have fertility challenges and that the number of Canadians dealing with infertility has doubled since 1980? My husband and I were very fortunate that we did not experience these difficulties when getting pregnant with our son, but the more I speak with my friends and patients I realize how rare this is and it makes me wonder why?
The second reason I was drawn to this lecture is that I get to work at the most wonderful clinic, Rebirth Wellness Centre, where the focus is on family wellness with a special interest in providing care to pre and postnatal women and families.
As most of you know, I moved my practice to Rebirth a few months ago and while I’ve always enjoyed working with women and babies over the course of my 9 years in practice, there is definitely a much higher percentage of these patients at Rebirth and I have been loving learning and absorbing everything I can related to providing the best care possible to all my new patients. The more I learn, the more I am fascinated and I can honestly say that my mind has even been blown several times since I started here in February.
Did you know that the position and alignment of your spine and pelvis can have a direct impact on your fertility? A woman’s cervix ovaries and uterus and a man’s prostate gland are all connected to your pelvis and even issues in your neck and mid back can affect your nervous system and hormone balance impacting fertility?
I had never really thought of it before. I know that must sound silly, seeing as I am a chiropractor and all, and that of course I understand the significance the nervous system has on the body etc., but I just had never thought about it in terms of fertility before.
To those dealing with infertility and searching for the answer, the missing piece to the puzzle, when every little detail counts and they are doing whatever they can to achieve their dream of having a baby, perhaps chiropractic care can help?
Adjusting the spine to improve nervous system function and alignment of the pelvis, helping reduce stress and balance hormones, optimizing overall health to help the body handle other fertility treatments and medications, recommendations on nutrition, exercise, supplements that will all compliment and enhance health and fertility. Yes, it all makes sense. Mind blown in a wonderful way. Can’t wait to learn some more and share it with my amazing patients.
While drafting my next blog post I came across this one written by Lydia from Walking With Dancers. It's a well written, powerful summary of the benefits of chiropractic care before, during and after pregnancy for both mother and baby based on the research and her first hand experiences.
It basically sums up everything I learned last weekend at my course and she's a much better writer than I am, so I'm going to scrap my post and share hers instead!
Hope you enjoy the read and if you have any questions about how chiropractic care can help you feel and function your best, whether you’re pregnant or not, please let me know.
Hello and Welcome to my Blog!
I have thought about joining the Blogging World for a while now, but have always felt a little hesitant about it. I have been known to spend hours composing an email to a friend only to delete it and pick up the phone to call them instead. In a world where time is precious here's hoping I can get over my terrible habit of overanalyzing my written thoughts and fear of publishing them for all to see, and that I can communicate what seems to come so readily to me in person! (That section alone took me 30 minutes to complete and I'm still not sure I like it...but, moving on...)
Anyone who has ever participated in a regular fitness program or trained for an athletic endeavour will understand the need to continually challenge your body in order for your body to adapt and become healthier, stronger, and better at performing whatever task you have asked of it. So too with personal or professional growth. If we don't challenge ourselves to try new things, how will we ever learn anything?
As an adult, it is very easy to live in your comfort zone, and often times this is the easiest and most efficient thing to do. You've got your routine, you stick to it and you feel incredibly organized and on the ball. At different times in our lives, this is an essential strategy. Like, for example, when I became a mother and had no idea what was what. I found what worked for me, did that every day, and just as I started to feel like I had the whole 'parenting a newborn thing' figured out, my son decided to change the rules and I was back at square one again. Such is life with a baby!
Anyway, my point is that I believe just as it is important to challenge our bodies, it is important to continue to challenge ourselves to experience new things and to learn from others, and by doing that we will always be growing as individuals.
So, with that in mind , I welcome this New Year with a new opportunity. I am very excited to be moving my practice to a new location in downtown London and joining the wonderful team at Rebirth Wellness Centre!
I have loved my time at YOUR Health and Wellness and will be sad to leave but I'm also really looking forward to this next chapter and in sharing my expertise with the team at Rebirth and learning from all of them as well.
I am looking forward to welcoming all my patients at my new office, starting February 9, 2015!
If you would like to set-up an appointment with me you can call Rebirth at 226-663-3243, book online or, as always, you may email me directly.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Hooray for new adventures!
PS: How was that for a first blog post? I am fighting the urge to delete.
I am Holly Beckley, a wife, mother and Chiropractor, living in the wonderful city of London, Ontario, Canada and I am passionate about helping people feel and function their best.